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Can desires and feelings be in accordance with or contrary to reason? Are they under the control of, or guided by, reason? Compare, contrast, and critically evaluate the answers of Aristotle and Hume to these questions and their arguments in support of those answers.
David Hume is one of the most significant philosophers of the 18th Century. Hume is skeptical about moral truths, and he ascertains that ethics comes from feelings, and not reason. Hume argues that moral judgments are founded on sentiment, feelings of disapproval or approval and not reason. He furthers ascertains that feelings and desires are independent of reason. According to Hume, reason handles the connection of concepts or matters of fact. An examination of common moral evils discloses neither links of concepts nor matters of fact, but only sentiment (Hume 16).
To confirm that desires and feelings are not in accordance with reason, and…… [Read More]
It is contemporary man's tendency to place himself atop of the evolutionary cycle of human development. Today's man with his technology and his gadgets believes that he is superior to his ancestors in many ways. Ancient philosophy and the mystery of its origins are still contemplated and studied in wide fashion today, but only by those who understand the timeless importance of truth and necessity.
The purpose of this essay is to describe the relevance of ancient philosophy to the morality of today. This essay will examine how the Platonic school of philosophy, inherited by the ideas of Socrates, The Bible and Kant all have considerably contributed to the modern understanding of morality, action, truth and harmony.
Although Socrates never wrote one word that has been found, his ideas carried out by the efforts of Plato and his academic efforts allow his ideas to still live. Solon and…… [Read More]
(Ethics: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
In essence, it can be said that moral philosophy is the field in which questions about what is good, what is bad, what is right, what is wrong are all dealt with, in addition to certain moral principles that an average human being follows through his lifetime. Some of the more popular questions which may be raised during a moral philosophy session could be: how must one live? Must one live in pursuit of happiness, or of knowledge, or of both? If one happened to choose to pursue happiness, then must it apply to oneself, or to everyone? It is right to lie or to dishonest, if it is for a good cause? It is right to live with all material benefits, while in some parts of the world people are starving to death? These are just a few of the questions that one…… [Read More]
Ethical Theories on Animals. The treatment of animals has historically evolved along with human beings' changing views of them. A number of theories trace this changing treatment to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic times when people exercised absolute dominion over animals (Sanders 2004). It was their religious belief that God gave man absolute dominion over animals and to do to them as he pleased or estimated. French philosopher Rene Descartes and other sadist thinkers reinforced this absolute dominion theory in that, since animals do not have the rational faculties of man, they could be treated as less than human and without mitigation. The non-malevolence theory eliminated mean motives but recognized that man could do what he pleased with animals. This was the position of Hinduism, Jainism and uddhism. German philosopher Immanuel Kant supported the anthropocentric theory, which reduced the dignity of man in proportion to the harm he inflicted on animals.…… [Read More]
Review the Feldman reading this week about euthanasia and assisted suicide as well as the online article on Christ's physical death. Many argue that assisted suicide or euthanasia is justified because it relieves a person from suffering. What are your thoughts about euthanasia, given what Christ did for us?
If I had the liberty of being perfectly honest about my own genuine response to the issue, I would have to admit that I still do not understand the conceptual relevance of Christ's suffering to a living person's moral right to spare himself or herself from suffering when the only escape is death. To me, allowing a person to escape intractable pain is much more consistent with the notion of God's love and compassion than requiring a person to endure pain against his or her will.
Christ did not choose to suffer; his suffering was forced upon him by the wrongful…… [Read More]
This would make the resource pool of charity large enough for the deprived sections of the society.
2): On the issue of morality Singer in his writing refers about the Brazilian film Central Station in which Dora, a poor retired school teacher gets an opportunity to earn $1,000 by handing over a 9-year-old homeless boy to an address where the boy will be fostered by wealthy foreigners. She hands over the boy, earns the money and buys a television to enjoy, only to be told by his neighbor that the boy will be killed and his organs used for human transplant. Dora gets upset and she decides to bring back the boy. In this situation Dora becomes a pawn of an immoral act without her knowledge following which she suffers from emotional turmoil. Had Dora acted otherwise without expressing any qualms of her actions, the author maintains, the audience would…… [Read More]
Moral decisions in business are best served by adhering to the ethical code of rule ultilitarianism. ule utilitarianism provides a workable code for businesses, especially in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom financial scandals. By adopting rule utilitarianism, businesses can help to prevent serious damage caused by decisions based solely on the consequences of a single act, and instead allow businesses to focus on ethical rules that ensure the best long-term benefit for society.
Utilitarianism is a type of normative ethics, and as such is interested in the practical standards that deal with right and wrong actions. In many ways, normative ethics acts as a "search for an ideal litmus test of proper behavior" (The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Further, utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory of ethics, and as such determines ethical conduct by looking at the consequences of actions (The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
In essence, ultitarianism argues…… [Read More]
Jeremy Bentham's philosophical theory of utilitarianism presented a unique metaphysic that may apply to some ways of practical though. The theory itself is an ethical guideline used to help present cases of morality. The theory, developed in the 19th century supposes that right action corresponds with the result that produces the most good. When an action has accomplished such a transition is said to have some sort of utility and therefore useful in its applications.
To me, the theory is too dogmatic, confusing and does not address ethics in a very frank and honest way. To understand this theory and to see how it applies in a personal manner requires an investigation into some of the key terms of the theory to explore their meanings and see how they contribute to the general argument.
One issue I have with this theory is its avoidance of quality in respect…… [Read More]
Kant Theories and Criticism
Kant's Theories and Criticism
Kant's Theories and Criticism
Kant's work with respect to good will and morality is appreciable but is also criticized in numerous manners. The philosophical phenomenon of Kant addresses the moral conduct with respect to good will but fails to address this acceptance universally. In this study, the contribution and postulation of Kant are discussed and are enlightened with respect to the critics that are made against his work.
To Maria Von Herbert, January 1793
To Kant, from Maria Von Herbert
Kant has determined the three types of motivation which enables the individuals to carry out certain activities and adopt certain behaviors in their life which comprises on ones' thinking about the rightfulness of that activity, the extent of pleasure related to performing such rightful activities and ones' tendency to be impelled in order to carry out certain tasks. This degree of motivation…… [Read More]
Thus, according to Mill, a state of thriving morality would be that in which each individual constantly pursues his own happiness and at the same time that of the others, through all his actions. Mills uses as a central argument for his theory of morality the 'golden rule' of Christianity, as he calls it, which states that each individual should only act as he in his turn would be acted upon by his fellow beings and that each person should love his neighbor as himself: "In the golden rule of Jesus we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility: 'to do as you would be done by' and 'to love your neighbor as yourself."(Mills, 17) Morality is thus grounded on the awareness and the pursuit of individual good as well as the good of the whole.
Of the two theories described here, Kant's metaphysics of morality seems to…… [Read More]
Prichard Moral Philosophy
Why does Prichard think moral philosophy rest on a mistake?
Prichard believes that moral philosophy rests on mistake for a variety of reasons. Moral theory in essence attempts to define whether people can distinguish right from wrong. When a person performs any action, the action must logically result from a motivating factor or thought process. Moral worth and philosophy is determined by the motive of a person, and consequently rests on mistake, because the concept of good and evil or right vs. wrong according to Prichard should not rest on motive.
Prichard questions what as a people, are "we really going to learn by Moral Philosophy" and states that the "aim of the subject" of moral philosophy is obscure (Prichard, 1912). Prichard believes that the subject of moral philosophy as typically defined and understood by society rests on a mistake that is parallel to a subject called…… [Read More]
Ethical and Moral Philosophies in Businesses
Ethical Moral Philosophies
Moral Philosophies Application to Business
According to Trevino and Nelson (2007), Philosophy describes a universal scheme of measures that people live by. From this definition, it follows that the moral philosophy defines specific rules or principles that people use to determine right and wrong. In essence, moral philosophy guides an individual's values and principles about moral and immoral issues (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). In business, moral philosophy will guide an individual in the evaluation of morally upright choices relating to their values and principles. Stansbury (2009) argue that moral philosophies are the ideal perspectives on matters that serve individuals with principles in an abstract form to facilitate their very social existence. The two moral philosophies considered in this paper are "Teleogy" and "elativism."
"Teleogy" is derived from the Greek word for purpose or end. In this philosophy, it is considered that…… [Read More]
Sleepers in the Context Of Kant's Moral Philosophy
Barry Levinson's 1996 motion picture Sleepers provides viewers with a shocking (and intriguing at the same time) account involving a group of boys who perform a horrible crime as a result of wanting to prank someone and end up in a juvenile center where they are subjected to a series of brutal abuses. The scene when the boys accidentally kill a person as they want to prank the hot dog vendor is especially interesting. Looking at matters from a perspective involving Kant's moral philosophy, it would seem that it is wrong to judge the boys solely based on how they murder an innocent human being.
When considering Kant's moral philosophy, it seems that the boys have a complex understanding of the situation they are in and of the role they need to play in this respective situation. Kant's Categorical Imperative theory perfectly…… [Read More]
There are several ways that BP could have chosen to respond, all of which were "open" to them (i.e. they had free will), yet those chose to take paths that were less moral. Kant's universal law would have them put their responsibility to humanity as the motivator, however, their motives have not proven to be driven by doing what is genuinely good for humanity.
Blackburn (2009) states that it is tricky to apply the categorical imperative and that the most persuasive examples of it being effective are in cases where there is an institution whose existence depends on sufficient performance by a sufficient number of individuals.
Suppose, as is plausible, that our ability to give and receive promises depends upon general compliance with the principle of keeping promises. Were we to break them sufficiently often, or were promise-breaking to become a 'law of nature,' then there would be no such…… [Read More]
For example, before Newton, gravity was not considered a reality because the force of gravity itself cannot be perceived via the senses. The scientific method corrects for sensory shortcomings. However, philosophers must endeavor to think beyond that which the senses deliver.
Morality, Philosophy, and Technology
Discussion 1: Human/Robot Interface
Current robotics technologies depend on strong human controls; no android exists that can survive independently of a human being either for its creation or for its sustenance. No android can therefore be considered alive in any reasonable definition of the word. Therefore, robots are dependent on humans. Robots do not make decisions; humans make decisions and program robots to execute those decisions. In the same way that a human being operates an automatic weapon to kill another person, so too does a human being operate a robot to kill another person. Therefore, human beings are always responsible for the actions carried…… [Read More]
The question arising from this claim is whether evidence exists to prove that there exists an infinitely good, powerful, and wise God where morality naturally emerges. Humes argues that is hard to imagine that an all-good, powerful God exists in this world full of pain and misery. From these claims, one can argue that this insight, or God, has both evil and good, as is present in man if man is in God's image and likeliness.
Immanuel Kant: from the Critique of Pure Reason, the Good Will and the Categorical Imperative, the Postulates of Practical Reason
Kant believes that the vigorous application of same methods of reasoning can yield to an equal development in dealing with the issues of moral philosophy. Kant proposes a list of categories of Freedom in Relation to the concept of good vs. evil. Kant uses logical distinction as the basis for the catalog. Even though…… [Read More]
The principle of harmony's job is to take corrective actions when needed in order to create the balance of economic justice between the principles. For example, when the other two principles are violated by such things as unjust social barriers to either participation or distribution, the principle of harmony works to eradicate these barriers and thus restore economic harmony, or justice.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, economic harmonies is defined as "laws of social adjustment under which the self-interest of one man or group of men, if given free play, will produce results offering the maximum advantage to other men and the community as a whole." In other words, whereas the other two principles are controlled by the free market, the principle of economic harmony is controlled by the government through laws and regulations aimed at controlling the negative effects of the free market. Examples of such controls are…… [Read More]
Ayn Rand's The Ethics of Emergencies speaks about the value of selfishness or self-interest. Although "selfishness" might seem negative at first, Rand's explanation makes quite a bit of sense. Rand speaks about selfishness as a rational process in which a person sets his/her hierarchy of values and lives according to those values in order to achieve the moral purpose of life: one's own happiness.
Summary of The Ethics of Emergencies
According to Ayn Rand's The Ethics of Emergencies, the moral purpose of life is to achieve one's own happiness. Describing her belief in Objectivism in 1962, Rand stated, "Man -- every man -- is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest…… [Read More]
Life is a collection of feelings, and everything that gives us a good feeling will certainly give us happiness. For every person there is a different definition of happiness. Some people associate happiness with spiritual satisfaction which people achieve by practicing their religious activities. The gist of the discussion lies in the point that happiness is relative. One thing might make one person happy and the other sad. There are two sides to every slice therefore you cannot just consider one factor and declare one theory of happiness or school of thought right or wrong.
The battle of objectivity vs. subjectivity is different for every situation. For situations where objectivity is needed narrow hedonism theory of happiness will be considered more plausible as compare to the need for relativity from situation to situation and feeling to feeling will lead to the victory of preference hedonism theory of happiness.
Factor Two:…… [Read More]
Moreover, caring for her mother, the other option, would surely: a) create a feeling of being "unfulfilled" which brings with it depression and resentfulness; b) leave her with nothing to look forward to but the dark day when her mother actually passes away; and c) realize after a short time that she is not "a Mother Teresa" and that her live would be diminished (Stuart, 25).
hat does Stuart believe is the right choice for Alice? Stuart asserts that the virtue that carries the most weight in this instance is having Alice care for her mother. Giving up her career for her mother would outweigh the "…virtues of perseverance, love of truth…and self-knowledge" should she decide to go forward with her dissertation (26).
hat Stuart also mentions -- and this is a prime reason for this writer to believe Alice should find a competent person to be a caregiver for…… [Read More]
Cicero's " Practical Code of Behavior"
Cicero in his "A Practical Code of Behavior" wrote as if writing a letter to his son telling the boy ways to live and be a proper person. In truth, this was only a literary device, and Cicero was actually writing a moral code for the aristocracy of his time. This is indicated as he cites a number of aristocratic authorities in the beginning of his letter, holding up Publius Cornelius Scipio as the ideal to be emulated and the man who conquered Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.C. Clearly, Cicero is speaking to the educated class, for he expects his readers to be familiar with philosophy and with the tenets of philosophic inquiry, for "every part of philosophy is fruitful and rewarding, none barren or desolate" (160). Moral philosophy in particular is "indispensable" (161) and it is a moral philosophy that Cicero is…… [Read More]
Moral Objectivism to Moral Skepticism
(a) According to Kant, what is the difference between "a posteriori" knowledge and "a priori" knowledge? What kind of knowledge would the statement "All triangles have three sides" be? What about the statement "The 44th U.S. President is African-American"?
A posteriori knowledge is knowledge 'after the fact' or knowledge based upon experience, versus a priori knowledge, which is knowledge which can be based upon pure, deductive reasoning (Johnson 2014). The idea that all triangles by definition have three sides can be known a priori, based upon mathematical, deductive logic. However, the statement that the 44th U.S. President is an African-American requires experience to understand, given that the president's race (regardless of what that race might be) does not logically flow from the condition of being president.
(b) Upon a Utilitarian account, would the statement "The assassination of MLK was wrong" be an example of a…… [Read More]
One relativistic belief that I find that some people hold is regarding abortion. Some people say, “Well, I would never have one,” implying that there is something immoral or unjustified about the action (at least in their case), and then they will follow that up with a statement like, “But I don’t think other people should be denied the right to have one,” suggesting that there is in fact nothing immoral or unjustifiable about it. This appears to me to be a case of, “What’s not good for me is not necessarily bad for you.” While some philosophers, like Kant, might argue that relativism is part of understanding how morality must be viewed in individual cases, other philosophers will suggest that just as there is a subjective side to judgment there is also an objective side to judgment and that some actions can be judged objectively as immoral, even if…… [Read More]
2306 Kant. Consider situation: You ill life support. You a transplant organs continue living. Your parents decided biological child specifically organ transplant child / matures a level (assume part organ child survive)
Kant's assumption on the present matter is reflected in the well-known maxim and law, "act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." (Stanford, 2004) Most often this "law" is interpreted as being a set of questions one must ask himself before undergoing a certain action. More precisely, the first step in determining whether the course of action one is about to take is morally correct or not is to actually formulate that action and provide a reasoning for it. Secondly, it is important to consider that action and that reasoning multiplied at a universal level, thought of this action as being a universal law…… [Read More]
While there is plenty to criticize in the work of Descartes, Locke, and Hume, one cannot justifiably claim that Jose Vasconcelos criticisms of traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge apply to these theorists if only because Vasconcelos' criticisms do not really apply to anything, as his criticisms are largely based on straw men. This is not to say that traditional Western views on the nature of knowledge should be free from criticism, but rather that the problems with these traditional views are more fundamental than Vasconcelos realizes, to the point that Vasconcelos suffers from many of these same issues. Essentially, both Vasconcelos and the previously mentioned authors suffer from a simply ignorance regarding the functioning of the human brain, the nature of consciousness and memory, and the evolutionary processes by which organisms and ideas evolve, with this ignorance born out of an implicit or explicit maintenance of…… [Read More]
Since a hypothetical imperative represents one of many possibilities that are only means to an end, they cannot be objectively necessary, and therefore do not have the same command over human behavior as a categorical imperative. As Kant notes, commands are laws that we must obey, even when they contradict our inclinations (27).
If we treat others as a means to an end, then we use them in service of another goal. However, if we treat others as an end in themselves, then we respect them without regard to any other goals or ends. To treat someone as a means to an end is to make them less important than some end result, whereas to treat someone as an end in themselves makes them the final and most important consideration. Slavery may be the most offensive example of using others as a means to an end, but there are…… [Read More]
Moral and Emotional Responses to the Challenge of Thrasymachus
Might makes right. So suggests the character of Thrasymachus in Plato's "Republic." In other words, justice and morality is merely defined by who is stronger. The proper role of morality in both reason and the emotions is dependant simply upon what one wants to do, at that point in time, and how one can best achieve one's objective. In politics, the strongest person defines what is just and moral, because the strongest person will always rule according to the real world laws of the political jungle. Socrates, of course, offers the opposing view, that only the wisest should rule, the philosopher kings of the ideal state, who put subjective emotion aside and rule purely by objective reason. While Thrasymachus suggests that 'the world,' that is the material existence around us (including our emotions) should be the ultimate proving-ground of any moral…… [Read More]
Philosophies of Life:
Personal and Traditional
hen one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes (Hassad, 2000). Although each person's individual "philosophy of life" is different, there are some well-known philosophical interpretations that can shed some light upon common attitudes concerning personal identity. Six famous life philosophies are attributed to Socrates, Freud, Albert Camus, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Muhammad.
Although there are several ways in which one can interpret the meaning of life and personal identity, perhaps one of the most useful steps one can take in the process is to recognize…… [Read More]
The central ideas about this knowledge may be categorized into four parts: knowledge, wisdom, belief, and opinion. Some are individualized -- some culturally based, some based solely on sensory perception, and some, from consideration. In its most practical state, "knowledge" may be information about which we are aware -- facts, figures, accepted truths, ways of doing things. Wisdom, in contrast, takes that knowledge and allows individuals to make judgments and decisions based on knowledge -- presumably gained through experience or the process of learning. Belief is a culturally (thus cognitively) based make up of what we hold to be true simply because we innately know it without the need of proof or method. Opinion, is a personalized belief of judgment that has no proof, no certainty, but generally takes in information (whether correct or not) and synthesizes it into an idea that allows for individuals to have stands and strong…… [Read More]
Philosophy of Life
Humans have a distinguishing nature, which defines the way they think, act, and feel. The human nature has influenced the culture that humans have kept with each other. In my observation, humans have a distinct culture that defines their operations and activities. For many years, many studies have been carried out to establish the human nature, which defines all human beings. Various views on the nature of human beings have been developed to explain human behaviors and mannerisms. Aristotle and Plato argued that humans may be explained as conjugal animals because they couple when adults to build household. It is also argued that humans are political animals with the potential of developing complex communities besides being mimetic (Oruka, 1996).
ecent years have seen the development of modern views on the nature of humans, such as, a being with potency to think, develop, and replicate. This modern view…… [Read More]
" (ohlf) These maxims may be as simple as gratifying a desire or something complex like becoming a lawyer. Kant then distinguishes between two basic kinds of maxims: material and formal principles. If I am acting in order to satisfy some desire, such as going to a Starbucks to get a coffee, that is acting on a material principle. According to Kant, maxims are rules that describe how one does act and imperatives prescribe how one should act. A categorical imperative commands that I should act in some way unconditionally. Kant regards these categorical imperatives as moral laws and they apply to everyone in the same way. In other words, if stealing is morally wrong, we cannot say that stealing is okay., because we are hungry and lack the money to buy food for ourselves or our families.
Kant's Categorical Imperative commands that we should act in some…… [Read More]
Given that experience is argued to be the foundation of knowledge (according to Locke) how - if at all - does Locke make room for what Leibniz would call 'necessary truths'?
Gottfried Leibniz made many criticisms of the work of John Locke, while acknowledging its sophistication and importance, observing that 'although the author of the Essays says hundreds of fine things which I applaud, our systems are very different' (Leibniz, 1982, p. 47). There is indeed a philosophical gulf between the two thinkers. Locke does not believe human beings can have any access to accurate knowledge of the actually existing reality of things, their 'real essence.' Only through the words we use to stand for things do we have any relationship to those things:
Nor indeed can we rank and sort things, and consequently (which is the end of sorting) denominate them, by their real essences; because we…… [Read More]
Socrates was a proud citizen of Athens. He loved his native state so much that when he was condemned before her courts, he prefered to be sentences to death instead of exile, because to be away from Athens would have been unbearable to him. He had fought bravely in her wars and won great acclaim, and laid his life on the line for her protection. Considering the degree of patriotism with which Socrates was endowed, it is strange and ironic that he was brought up on charges of corrupting the youth and challenging the laws of his state. It may in fact have been Socrates' passion for the egalitarian values of Athens that led to his prosection and death.
As the first democracy, ancient Athens was a society where lawsuits ran rampant. In that day many people seemed to scorn the constant suing, and it was a matter of…… [Read More]
However, in principle, the rules and laws of society merely ensure our freedom from unwanted behavior of others. In many cases, in fact, the particular rules themselves are purely arbitrary, such as the simple rules of the road about stopping on a red signal and going on a green signal because the reverse rule would be just as good. The purpose of the rules of the road are simply to protect us from accidents. Likewise, acquiring a drivers' license as a condition of driving is intended to ensure that anybody who drives a heavy vehicle capable of maiming and killing is competent to do so without exposing others to risks.
Other rules of society are much harder to justify because they regulate conduct that affects nobody else. For example, prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have a legitimate purpose of protecting others. On the other hand, prohibitions…… [Read More]
Socrates has been accused of not recognizing the gods of the state, and also of inventing gods of his own. In fact, this is a two-part accusation. Socrates is first being accused for not believing in the state-sanctioned religion. Of course, it is impossible to know what Socrates does or does not believe. Based on his words, though, it would seem Socrates does actually believe in the gods although may not pay them the kind of respect that the Athenian courts would prefer.
The second part of the accusation is different. Here, the state accuses Socrates of inventing new divinities of his own. Socrates is in fact not starting a new religion and he does not tout the divine authority of any deity. If the accusation is taken collectively, that is, if declaration of guilt or innocence is made on the fulfillment of both these two parts, then Socrates…… [Read More]
When we consider our own philosophies about many things, we are forced to make judgments determining what is most important to us. It is only through this kind of examination that we really learn what our real beliefs and values are. In addition, through this kind of examination, we have the ability to become so in-tune with our philosophies that we make decisions that truly reflect what we believe without having to ponder deeply. It is for this reason that an examination of our philosophies has a practical value to daily living.
Thus, philosophy is not simply something practiced by the ancient scholars. Instead, it is a practical tool that helps us better understand ourselves. Through both philosophy and an examination of our philosophies, we look at our world in an enlightened, purposeful manner, and we have the ability to better understand it.… [Read More]
The Value of Philosophy: The subject of philosophy concerns itself with understanding of the self, humanity and the universe in an attempt to arrive at or define a "unified, coherent, systematic world view." (Para 4, p. 35)
Such broad definitions of philosophy often lead to a viewpoint that philosophy is of interest only to the world of academia, characterized as it is by debate and the lack of consensus. While it is true that philosophy may be considered to be eternally evolving, perhaps in keeping with the very evolution of human kind, the fact is that the study of philosophy holds immense personal and practical value for the simple self-evident truth that philosophy pervades every aspect of life: "...a moral being, a social and political animal, an appreciator of art and beauty, a perceiver and knower, a scientist, a religionist...all these aspects of humanity and self are areas of…… [Read More]
Kant's Theories of Good Will
One of Kant's examples of good well is an action that is taken with good intentions; he calls it good because the volition of the action is good. There is no good will in an action taken for the good it might do for others or for the good it might do potentially for the person taking the action. Kant's sense of good will dictates that good will is not good for what the consequences it effects. Kant's concept of good will dictates that something is not good because of how appropriate the action is toward accomplishing a specific end. Even if the action taken did not result in the desired action or even a good action, the value of the good will is not lost, forgotten, or diminished.
Good will rises above personal motivation or desire of the person taking the action and…… [Read More]
Philosophy and Morality
INSTRUCTIONS The exam consists essays. Please essays document. Please plagiarize. Be paraphrase verbatim language authors putting quotation marks. You document sources, -text citation ( footnotes) a reference page.
John Arthur's "Morality, Religion, and Conscience,"
A concern on the relationship between morality and religion is an ancient argument that continues in philosophy in the present times. The argument is mainly on whether morality emanates from an institution or religious background. Theologians in their numbers provide unwavering support the argument that a unifying absolute force or God provides universal moral guidance. The importance of observing morality and religion as independent on one another but related in some way has been argued by other philosophers (Lyons 479). John Arthur argues that morality and religion are not interlocking in relevant manners. Arthur argues that morality in independent from religion and religion does not influence moral action. It is his contention…… [Read More]
The ultimate evil, as opposed to the ultimate 'badness' is to deny higher humanity's potential to individually realize its aims in a state of freedom. Any attempt to create a philosophy that is eternal, and transcends time and space, and must hem in human freedom is a lie and a product of a particular individual's psyche, rather than an external reality.
Faith and feeling, even intellectual knowledge, is a product of a would-be master's physical and mental state of being, and nothing else. Thus, a person with a slave mentality will by definition produce an enslaving system of morality, which Nietzsche believes is characteristic of Christianity, which champions the weak above the strong. The more slave-like the mentality, the more the individual will fear the strong, and use morality as a tool against the strong people whom he fears.
It might seem that Nietzsche's vision of morality, because it denies…… [Read More]
hat is needed, then, is a concept of free will that can effectively counter the claims of naturalists that there is no physical basis for free will. It requires a different kind of free will that permits moral responsibility to be leveled squarely at the individual without ignoring the reality that sometimes there are external causes to internal decisions. In fact, some philosophers have even used the conceptual tools of the naturalists to make the argument that free will can exist in a deterministic world. Daniel Dennet argues that the deterministic universe provides the reliable framework of reality by which informed, individual choices can be made (Bailey par. 14-17). ithout some determinism in the universe, it would be impossible for free will to functionally exist, because no one would ever be able to make a rational choice in a purely chaotic world. So free will requires some level of determinism.…… [Read More]
This means that if someone has a problem with a law, there is an opportunity for that person to take action that can result in the law being changes. This is an opportunity that Socrates had. As noted, he was aware that he was disobeying moral laws. However, he also acted as if the laws did not exist and failed to recognize the reality of them. In doing so, he lost his opportunity to change them. In doing so, he also rejected the fact that he does exist as part of a larger system and ignored the fact that the laws still exist for everyone else, regardless of whether he accepts them. In considering Socrates' opinions on the laws, it seems that if he felt strongly enough to reject them, he should have felt strongly enough to take some action to change them. This is Socrates problem, where he both…… [Read More]
e., it removes subjectivity as a vantage point). It is also hard to tell how much unhappiness is created and how to weigh it against the happiness that is created (e.g., how much George would hate his job?, how much suffering will the warmonger go through because he did not get this job?). Further, quantification of happiness or suffering becomes a real issue when trying to determine things on a macro scale. For example, does the tiniest amount of world happiness outweigh a huge amount of individual suffering? How much world happiness is necessary if not?
Second, utilitarianism relies on the outcomes of the actions in order to determine morality. If war breaks out and all of the United States is whipped out because George begrudgingly did his job, dragging his feet the whole time, then his action to take the job was wrong. He would have caused the devastation…… [Read More]
Because of their unwillingness to wear protective equipment they are putting the entire workforce at risk for injury.
The advantage of using this theory is that it allows one to come up with a fairly simple equation that can be used to determine the number of people affected and by how much. The disadvantage of this theory is that it is sometimes hard to figure out how to assign units of happiness to the actions that you are trying to measure (Shaw & Barry, 2007, pp. 45-46). There are many elements of subjectiveness when trying to apply this theory, but in this particular case I feel that the danger that all workers would be exposed to far outweighs some individuals that would be happier not wearing their protective equipment. Not only is their danger to the workers but there is also dangers to the plant as a whole. If a…… [Read More]
Moral Criticisms of the Market
Moral Criticisms Market This assignment requires read article Ken S. Ewert (found eading & Study folder). Note article, Ewert defending free market "Christian Socialists." He states position a rebuttal
Moral criticisms of the market: A critique of Ewert's analysis
It is interesting to read Ken S. Ewert's 1989 criticisms of 'Christian socialists' in light of current debates on other types of economic policies today. Ewert portrays Christian, leftist defenders of socialism as impervious to logic, in contrast to other former critics of capitalism, who grew more acclimated to capitalist principles in light of the failure of the Soviet Union Similar criticisms are made of 21st century religious fundamentalists, who stress the need for private enterprise to address societal problems 'on principle,' even when public regulation might be helpful and who try to define science, including science education, in religious terms rather than in terms of…… [Read More]
Moral Skepticism and Knowledge
Moral Skepticism and Moral Knowledge
Morality is a much debated philosophical idea, wherein the arguments range from ethical egoism being the perfect sample of moral ethics to altruism being the perfect -- and otherwise opposite -- viewpoint. Both ideas have strong followings, and ethical egoism along is broadened to even more branches within philosophical studies. There is still much reconciliation to be done between the various problems of philosophical thought and ethical egoism or lack thereof.
Ethical egoism is a particular form of egoism where one who is moral "ought" to do what is in one's self-interest. The morality behind egoism generally points toward the idea of self-interest; that a moral being's moral path is by focusing on one's self. This type of egoism should not be mistaken for psychological egoism, however. Psychological egoism makes a claim that beings act only in their self-interest.…… [Read More]
Further Consideration of the Issues:
Actually, Singer's use of the term absolute affluence is not perfectly analogous (because the corresponding analog to the conditions of absolute poverty are those of extravagant wealth not working class wealth), but the idea itself is still valid just the same. The point is simply that once human society in part of the world reached the point where even most of those considered "poor" receive adequate nutrition, shelter, and the most basic emergency medical care (etc.), a moral duty arises whereby helping the less fortunate should be more important than self-centered concerns about increasing one's wealth relative to others in the manner that different levels of affluence are defined in wealthier nations.
It is important that Singer acknowledges the difference between ideals that people should uphold and ideals that people must uphold, because it is likely impossible to establish a logical justification for compelled charity,…… [Read More]
He did so, his client was convicted, and now his client is appealing that conviction.
In the meantime, there was no way that his client could have given him those details of the other rapes unless he had committed them, so the lawyer knows that he is guilty of the other crimes. Whether the lawyer is concerned about his client and whether he will be prosecuted for the other crimes if he tells the D.A. must cross the lawyer's mind. However, the fact that the client was almost gloating about the way he did not get caught and how he will get out of prison 'while he is young and can still have some fun' would likely be upsetting to the moral compass of the lawyer.
Those who argue that lawyers do not have morals are misguided. Lawyers simply do what they are required to do for their jobs and…… [Read More]
Philosophy and Psychology of the Mind and Body
Throughout human history, philosophers, doctors, and most recently, psychologists, have attempted to understand the relationship between the mind and body and how it results in human beings' awareness and perception of reality. At least since the golden age of Greek philosophy, thinkers have been aware of an ostensible distinction between the mind and body, a distinction that nonetheless allows for some intermingling such that physical issues affect the mental state just as mental issues may result in physical symptoms. Thus, if one desires to truly understand how contemporary estern psychologists and philosophers consider the nature of consciousness via the interaction between mind and body, one must trace the history of these concepts starting with the Greek philosophers, moving through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and on to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when psychology first began to develop as a formal…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, personal experience is a powerful method of argument, especially when the credibility of the individual is not called into question. The moral argument in favor of the existence of God is weak because the existence of human morality does not in itself mean that God is the origin of morals. Rather, God has often been used as a motive to prompt people to act a certain way, according to religious scripture or doctrine. Miracles pose a significant problem for the philosopher of religion, because if an act is deemed miraculous, it supercedes the laws of nature. However, the laws of nature are always subject to God; therefore, a miracle cannot theoretically exist.
Pascal's "wager" is yet another theistic philosophy of religion, one that is based primarily on self-interest. Pascal suggested that believing in God is a "better bet" than not believing in God. The individual who believes has nothing…… [Read More]
His floating away at the end of the movie seems to suggest that he is indeed dead, and that the film has been the final moments of his brain creating illusory perceptions. The fact that this is not explicitly decided reveals the film's perspective that this doesn't really mater -- perception is the method we use to interact with "reality;" the realizations that Wiley comes to and the knowledge he receives is not mad any less valid or important by the fact that none of the encounters he experiences might actually have happened.
The fact that we have such strong intellectual and emotional responses to fictive films is an indicator that perception, to a large degree, creates reality. The nature of truth is also explored in the documentary Standard Operating Procedure. The main philosophical issue in this film is how the framing of an event can affect truth, or at…… [Read More]
Obama endorsed an Illinois handgun ban while he was serving in the Illinois state legislature and also supports a ban on semi-automatic weapons. However, the current President professed his support for the Second Amendment, stating that he supports restrictions to keep guns out of the wrong hands, not a full prohibition. In Illinois he co-sponsored a 2000 to limit consumer purchases of firearms to one gun per month -- although he also supported 'conceal carry' laws for retired police officers ("Gun control," on the Issues, 2008).
The spike in gun sales has more to do with political posturing than reality: gun owners wish to demonstrate their opposition to Obama's system of values, as conceptualized in the red-blue divide that currently exists in the United States. In this polarized media positioning, Obama represents urban elitism and government control, despite his actual policies. The NRA and the gun industry has used this…… [Read More]
Yet, when you go beyond the generalities, it is obvious that this a taking a one size fits all approach when it comes to society. Where, you are assuming that everyone will react the same to the various rules / laws that have been established. However, the pessimists argue that such thinking does not take into account how various experiences and personal relationships will determine someone's morals and values. This is troubling because when you apply such thinking to the person who committed the act. They can be able to claim that they are excused from the different forms of punishment, because they qualify for a special consideration. This, the critics argue is the biggest flaw of determinism, where you are assuming that ample amounts of punishment / penalties would serve as a deterrent. Then, once someone breaks various laws you are allowing the special considerations to give them the…… [Read More]
Admittedly, we do not know how it that anything (such as a physical universe) exists, let alone exactly how it came about that life came into existence. It is often suggested that there must be a God since it is impossible for anything to come into existence spontaneously through "self-creation" and equally impossible that anything existed forever in the past. Regardless of how elementary the very first particle of matter (or energy) and regardless how long ago it first emerged, it must have come from somewhere and through some process.
In the minds of many people, the only logical explanation for the existence of the universe and (especially) of life is that it must have been created by a God. However, there are serious logical problems with that belief. First, it necessarily relies on completely circular reasoning: either spontaneous existence from nothing is possible or it is impossible; it cannot…… [Read More]
He prided himself on being a king that put the needs of his people above his own, struggling to keep his own feelings under wrap and focus instead on what his people needed. This desire to help the people led him to seek a cure for the plague, which was destroying people in masses. He sent Creon to Delphi, Apollo's place of revelation, to find out what could be done to save the city. Creon was told that the state must avenge the death of the former king Laios. After doing a little sould-searching, Oedipus learns that he was the killer of Laios, who was his father.
Oedipus takes full responsibility for the crime. "Citizens and alien alike must never shelter me or speak to me," he said. "I must be shunned by all. And I myself pronounced this malediction upon myself" (Sophocles, 42).
Like Socrates, Oedipus is visited by…… [Read More]
In addition, I've heard a great deal of expressed frustration by the citizens of this country in regards to their rights, and the impact on their rights by the Patriot Act and regulations put in place by the Department of Homeland Security. Do these people not understand that their rights are nonexistent because of the authority of the state? Like a child and her parents, the state will do what it thinks is necessary for its people, and the people must obey."
Pretend for a moment," Augustine posed, "that the question at hand is not the sovereignty of the state, but the moral justice of the war. Do you agree that the decision to go to war was moral?" do not concern myself so much with morality," Hobbes countered, "as I do with the reason why these wars must continue to occur. Obviously, none is in favor of the death…… [Read More]
Capital punishment, however, does reflect the retributive perspective and is the most obvious modern manifestation of Hammurabi's code. Even so, the moral righteousness of capital punishment is questionable for several reasons. First, capital punishment is illogical and hypocritical. If killing another human being is wrong, and if the state kills human beings, then the state is committing a wrongful act. Second, capital punishment can be considered cruel and unusual. Third, capital punishment precludes the state from promoting positive moral values in favor of a perceived increase in public safety. Whether public safety is increased by the use of capital punishment is also questionable. For the most part, capital punishment is used "solely for symbolic purposes," (Turow, cited by Stern, 2003). Capital punishment is the epitome of revenge-based, retributive justice. It would seem that even if revenge were morally just, that the state would have no justifiable role in exacting revenge.…… [Read More]
Jacques Derrida has been accused of writing in a deliberately obtuse and obfuscated manner, so the relationship between his work and that of Plato's might not be immediately discernible. Perhaps the clearest connection between the two can be derived from Derrida's of Grammatology, especially as it compares to Plato's aesthetics and view of reality. In this rather dense treatise, Derrida first outlines the phenomenon of what he calls logocentrism -- the attitude that speech (logos in Greek) is the most basic and essential form of language, while writing is secondary in development and its ability to reflect meaning. Derrida claims that logocentrism has long been a silent and foundational part of Western thought, even from the time of Plato.
Plato believed that truth and meaning existed in a pure state somewhere, with the shadows of meanings existing in our own world. Derrida sees this as a flawed worldview, though not…… [Read More]
Seeing how the Prime Directive should no longer apply, Picard was free to do whatever was necessary in order to save his crewman. However, the advanced technology employed by the aliens forced Picard to argue for the life of Wesley Crusher. His argument centers around the idea that this conflict is over whether or not moral universalism, or moral relativism would apply in the case of Wesley Crusher. Picard argues that the Federation does not interfere with other cultures because they believe that all cultures have equally value and the capacity for development. However, they are dealing with an alien race that is violating that principle. The aliens have decided that their moral universalism is correct for the Edo, and by extension, anyone who visits their planet. But Picard argues, correctly, that each culture must respect the rights of other cultures to develop in their own way. And the Prime…… [Read More]
At the same time, optimized care is mandated by the medical code of ethics. If older people are therefore sufficiently able to function independently, access to care should be available to them, because this is their preference, and professionals have an obligation to honor these preferences.
In the medical profession, there are no simple solutions to the discrepancy between the fiscal limitations of health care and the ethical obligations of professionals to their clients. The best ideal is to use specific codes of ethics in order to find an acceptable solution that satisfies both the drive to remain financially viable and the obligation to provide all clients with the optimal care.
As mentioned, above, the dilemma involves Mrs. DN, an elderly woman who suffered from a debilitating stroke that left her in a wheel chair. Because she was generally at home, she had the right to home care according…… [Read More]